WATCH: Rev. Beaman offers benediction at Biden inauguration

               “We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed, words to consider, reconsider …” *

               Poet Elizabeth Alexander at the first Presidential Inauguration of Barack H. Obama in January 2009.   

               On 20 January 2021, the world has witnessed how America intends to mitigate national apprehension, friction, and distrust. Walking the tightrope requires a balancing act, dealing cautiously with tension and compromise (van Kempen, Abraham. Christian Zionism … Enraptured Around a Golden Calf Kindle Locations 2617-2621). 

Excerpts from the Benediction delivered by the Reverend Dr. Silvester S. Beaman: 

               “God, we gather under the beauty of your holiness and the holiness of your beauty. We seek your faith, your smile, your warm embrace … We pray for divine favor … 

               More than ever, our nation needs you. For in you, we discover our shared humanity. In our common humanity, we will seek out … Acknowledge sin, and seek forgiveness, thus grasping reconciliation.

               In discovering our humanity, we will seek the good in and for all our neighbors … We will seek rehabilitation beyond correction … We will make friends of our enemies.

               People, your people shall no longer raise weapons against one another.

               In you, oh God, we discover our humanity. In our humanity, we discover our commonness. Beyond the difference of color, creed, origin, political party, ideology, geography, and personal preferences …

               This is our Benediction… that this is our country. As such, teach us, oh God, to live in it, loving it, be healed in it, and reconciled to one another in it, lest we miss kingdom’s goal. 

Excerpts – The 46th President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden:

               “Hear me clearly: Disagreement must not lead to disunion.

               Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint of my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love.

               What are the common objects we love that defines us as Americans? 







               And, yes, the truth.

               We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. 

               We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.

               If we show a little tolerance and humility. If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes just for a moment.

               There are some days when we need a hand.

               There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.

               That is how we must be with one another. 

               If we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, and more ready for the future.

               It is a time for boldness, for there is so much to do.

               And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear.

               Of unity, not division.

               Of light, not darkness.

               An American story of decency and dignity.

               Of love and of healing.

               Of greatness and of goodness.

               May this be the story that guides us.

               The story that inspires us.

               The story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history. 

               That is what we owe our forebearers, one another, and generations to follow. 

               So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to the tasks of our time.

               Sustained by faith.

               Driven by conviction.

               And, devoted to one another and to this country we love with all our hearts.”

Saint Pope John Paul II shares words of wisdom in ‘In Prayer It’s Not Us Versus Them, It’s We:’

               “Instead of counting on innovations to upstage previous achievements, we should seek to heal the old. To change humanity is to restore people from their mistakes.

                We must redesign human society and bring those abandoned back into it, ordering and protecting their lives by all means.

                Today it takes a lot of courage to take these indispensable small steps of healing and fulfill the existential tasks to facilitate the actual renewal of man and our world.

                Humankind has received the gift of freedom from the Creator. Free will enables the human being to have that unique form of love, the human one, which is not merely the result of a natural attraction but also a free act of the heart. Freedom enables humanity, as the supreme act of human dignity, to love and worship God. But liberty has its price.

                Everyone free should ask themselves whether they have preserved their human dignity when exercising free will. After all, freedom is not arbitrary. People should not do everything they can or want to do. There is no freedom without bondage. People are responsible for themselves, for their fellow human beings, and the world. They are accountable to God.

                A society that sabotages responsibility, law, and conscience shakes the foundations of human life. Without commitment, the person will plunge into this life’s enjoyment and, like the prodigal son, will become dependent, lose his home and freedom.

And Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate, concludes her moving poem with:

               “The new dawn blooms as we free it

               For there is always light

               If only we’re brave enough to see it

               If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Wow! Light outshines darkness. Always!

Read more: ‘In Prayer It’s Not Us Versus Them, It’s We.’